NHPCO and HAN Welcome Introduction of Community-Based Palliative Care Act in Congress
For Immediate Release
June 8, 2023
(Alexandria, VA) – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and its affiliate group, the Hospice Action Network (HAN) thank Congressional leaders, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE), co-chairs and co-founders of the bipartisan Senate Comprehensive Care Caucus, for the introduction of the bipartisan Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act (S.1845) which proposes the creation of a demonstration project to support improved access to palliative care services through a community-based model.
If passed, the bill would require the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to develop a Community-Based Palliative Care (CBPC) demonstration. This program would provide essential interdisciplinary care to people with serious illness in their home and lead to improved quality and cost outcomes.
“Having stepped away from my career to care for my parents and in-laws as they aged, I am aware of the challenges that caretakers and patients face when trying to access palliative care services,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m introducing bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to help ensure patients are provided comprehensive palliative and health care services much earlier in the course of their illness. As a co-founder of the Senate’s Comprehensive Care Caucus, I’ll always find ways to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.”
NHPCO has drafted a framework for a CBPC model aimed at improving patient outcomes and experience of care while reducing unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations for high-risk patients. Additionally, this model will address social determinants of health to improve outcomes for those living in under-resourced areas.
“There are many benefits to allowing patients to seek palliative support through early referrals. Hospices and community-based palliative care providers are uniquely positioned to deliver this model of care. Their longstanding expertise in advance care planning, pain and symptom management, interdisciplinary care, and more make these organizations ideal entities to deliver a model of care in support of people and families dealing with serious illness at home,” said NHPCO COO and interim CEO Ben Marcantonio. “Thank you to the Comprehensive Care Caucus for the bi-partisan support in prioritizing this critical service and introducing the Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act.”
NHPCO recently partnered with NORC at the University of Chicago to determine the projected enrollment, calculated baseline of utilization, and cost of care for our proposed CBPC Model. Based on preliminary results and a conservative sample of enrollees, NORC found that this model can reduce the average total cost of care by 20% and result in almost 600 million dollars in savings to Medicare or roughly $143 dollars per beneficiary per month.